With the imminent arrival of visitors Mick and Gayle, I had to get the maps out (…opened Viewranger on my mobile…) and decide where I was going to take them. I quickly decided Carn na Loine was a good idea, as I had failed to walk it a couple of weeks previously after having sat and looked at it for a few minutes.
So, that was the plan and after a bit of morning faff, off we went to abandon the car near Auchnagallin and set off to take the track to Auchnahannet. The weather was good, a beautiful sky with a few clouds and fabulous views, all part of the planning, of course. The track took us steadily, but gently, uphill till the point at which we had to leave it to strike out over open ground. It was a little heathery, a little tussocky and a little wet, but nowhere near as wet as I might normally expect for the area. I toiled somewhat up this little pimple of a hill, more than I had hoped for even if I had lost a little fitness since May. I regularly stopped to admire the view. A lot.
Looking back along the track towards the Cairngorms
After some time, the ground flattened out and the trig came in to view. Photographs were taken, distant mountains were identified, then the chill began to set in and Gayle and I strode off confidently in the correct direction. It wasn’t hard.
Towards the Black Isle, Ben Wyvis just right of centre
The Knock of Braemoray, just left of centre
The going, however, was a bit testing. There was plenty more heather and tussocks with lots of deep, damp holes hidden amongst it all. There was some impressive arm waving accompanied by the obligatory “Woo hoo!!” It took quite some time to meet the track by Sgor Gaoithe that we were looking for and by the time we got there, it was declared to be time for lunch and a suitable picnic rock was found.
After lunch we went on a little adventure to find Huntly’s Cave, of which there are two in the area. This one was up a mini glen to the side of our track and a pleasant few minutes was spent scrambling around the rocks before we found what was just big enough to be called a cave. We soon went on our way as we were now but a short distance from the car.
View from the lunch rock
Heading along the mini glen
Determined to find the cave
Following Mick back to the path
Our hill, Carn na Loine, on the left, Tom Mor onthe right with the mast
It was a fabulous day! And a lovely walk with great company, made all the better when, once Gayle knew the hill I’d taken them to was actually on her list of Marilyns to be ticked. Bonus!
Thank you, and please come again!!
Approximately 5.83 miles and 1,092 ft